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Allotments vandalised

Young carrots pulled from the ground at Congresbury Allotments

Allotment holders were shocked on Saturday morning to discover that several plots had been trashed on Friday night.

“It was heartbreaking,” said Allotment Association secretary Susan Hibberd. Potato plants had been pulled up before they were ready to harvest as were young carrots with pea plants tugged out of the soil and let lying around. “It’s just stupid,” said Susan.

“It’s malicious also to pull up strawberry plants, soft fruit bushes and crush a beautiful cultivated blackberry under a paving slab.”

The destruction continued with a whole row of runner beans canes pushed over while flowering artichokes, sunflowers and cottage garden plant were all toppled over and netting torn to get at cauliflowers.

Storage boxes were broken into and tools stolen and a metal incinerator was crushed. There was also more minor damage to other plots with storage boxes tipped out.

“The allotments have been a wonderful refuge during the Covid 19 crisis. There are no vacant plots and the hard work put in for months by local residents really shows,” said Susan.

“This is not the first time we have had unwelcome visitors this year. There have been repeated thefts of tools. Those can be replaced. But such apparently random and ignorant destruction of growing plants has not happened before,” she said.

If anyone has additional information, please contact the Parish Office (01934 838802).The damage has been reported to the police and the offenders possibly caught on nearby CCTV. 

League cricket returns

Congresbury Cricket Club’s re-arranged league season starts in earnest on Saturday (July 25) with the 1st XI travelling to Downend while the second team entertains Blagdon (1pm start).

The following Saturday (Aug 1) the 1st XI are away again, this time to Bristol CC while the 2nd XI host Long Ashton CC.

On August 8, Bishopston are the visitors for a 1st team clash  (12.30 start) while the seconds travel to Blagdon.

There’s no game for the first team on August 15 but the 2nd XI are up against neighbours Claverham in a match that is bound to be hotly contested (1pm start).

From August 22, the 1st XI has a run of three home games starting with Bedminster then Clevedon on the 29th and Winterbourne on September 5.

The 2nd XI visit Old Bristolians Westbury on August 22 and Barrow Gurney on August 29.

Women’s soft ball cricket is also up and running with visits to Lodway CC on Sunday August 2 while on Sunday August 16 the women will be at home to Huntspill & District CC and host Clevedon on Sunday September 13.

Volunteers at the Rec Club have been working frantically to try to get a limited bar service in place and it is hoped that the club will be open on Friday evenings and Saturdays. 

Cricket for U9s has been played on Tuesdays since lockdown restrictions were lifted and discussions are on-going about running All Stars cricket for five to eight-year-olds on Friday evenings as soon as possible.

Meanwhile the cricket club has launched an appeal for villagers – especially parents of young players – to help raise funds by becoming Friends of Congresbury CC. See attached poster for full details.

CCC-Friends-blurb_2020

Re:Store Congresbury now open!

Your new sustainable shopping destination, Re:Store Congresbury is now open! We are stocking reusable fabric face masks, refillable foods and cleaning products, eco-friendly and locally sourced toiletries, handmade gifts and much more!

You can order online for collection or delivery at www.restorecongresbury.co.uk or visit us on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday morning at Congars Cafe (check opening times on our website). 

See you soon!!

Glut Market

Good morning everyone, a few of you will know us from the Community Cafe ( Sandie and Jan) as you know we had a Glut Market Stall there which was very well used and raised money to keep the Cafe running. As we have had to close due to this dreadful virus we wondered if you would still like to donate your surplus plants, veg, fruit, berries, in fact anything from your allotment etc I have provided a Glut table on my drive where I will sell them at a much reduced price obviously, proceeds to go to the Cafe as normal. Social Distancing will always be adhered to money can be dropped into collection box. I am next to the church, on Pauls Causeway the cottage with all the flowers on the wall, table is behind the gate. Jan has grown various plants and we have had these for sale over the past few weeks and they have all gone, our neighbours donated 4 cucumber plants yesterday and they have been sold. Any donations of items will be taken in at night whilst there is a chance of frost etc. Stay safe all of you, hope you like this idea.

VE Day – May 8th

Official commemorations will begin at 11am with a national moment of remembrance and two minutes’ silence.

11am | The Nation Remembers BBC One will lead a poignant two-minute silence to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

2.45pm | The Announcement of Victory Winston Churchill’s historic speech will also be broadcast – providing a fascinating insight into what the public will have heard on that significant day all those years ago.

8pm | The People’s Celebration Viewers can also tune in to a special programme on VE Day on BBC One, which will see some of the UK’s biggest stars (Katherine Jenkins, Beverley Knight), sing a rendition of the iconic ‘We’ll Meet Again’, by Vera Lynn. Throughout the show, we will hear from the real stars of the night, the people who still remember that historic evening and can tell us what it was like, first hand.

9pm | The Queen’s speech: The Queen herself will be giving a special address to the nation (her second during the coronavirus pandemic), at 9am on 8th May – which is the exact same time that her father, King George VI, spoke to the UK 75 years ago, on the actual VE Day.

This is a test post to link to Facebook

A brief history of Broad Street

Chris Short of Congresbury History Group thought this would be of interest to all of us during lockdown. As he notes, this is not a definitive history, but “a light-hearted attempt to rekindle memories and provide a bit of diversion during this difficult period.” Click here to read it.

Fair Day in the early 1900s. Picture courtesy Congresbury History Group

Coffee morning

Anniversary Coffee Morning, in aid of Children’s Hospice South West. Saturday 25th April in the Methodist Hall, Congresbury. 10am to 1pm. £1.00 entry, to include tea or coffee and biscuits. Bedding plants and produce for sale. Tombola.

Extra opening at cafe

The community cafe in Bridge House will also be open every Thursday morning from 9 – 1pm starting on Thursday 9 January. This is in addition to its regular Wednesday and Friday opening.

Police call on public to sign-up for counter-terrorism training

An award-winning counter terrorism training course – originally devised in partnership with Marks and Spencer – is being made available to the public for the first time and Avon and Somerset Police is calling on members of the public to sign up and help protect the UK.

The ACT Awareness eLearning package was previously only available to staff working in crowded places like shopping centres and entertainment venues and participants needed to be signed up by their employees.

Now Counter Terrorism Policing has decided to open up the training to anyone who wants to become a CT Citizen so they can learn how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and understand what to do in the event of a major incident.

The decision to offer the training to the public was not made in response to the recent attack in London. However, that tragic event, when two people lost their lives to terrorism, was a stark reminder of the ongoing threat and the need for vigilance.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Cullen said: “ACT Awareness eLearning is especially useful for anyone working in or regularly visiting crowded places.

“Developed alongside industry experts more than one and a half million modules have already been completed.

“The course has been so popular, with nine out of 10 users saying they would recommend it, we want to open it up to as many people as possible.

“The threat level remains at Substantial – meaning an attack is likely – so giving everyone the chance to be extra eyes and ears for police and local security teams help to keep all communities across the Avon and Somerset area safe.

“The festive period is obviously a very busy one – so this is a good time to join up and become a CT Citizen.”

ACT Awareness is made up of seven modules that take a few minutes each to complete. You can pause and re-join at any time. In total it takes just 45 minutes – so less than an hour of your time could help to prevent an attack or help save lives if one was to happen.

The course is hosted by online training specialists Highfield. To register and start learning, click here.

Community Cafe

This Wednesday 4 Dec. the café will be open from 9 to 1pm and 2 – 6pm. After 6pm basic tea & coffees will be available on a takeaway basis for donations.

Fraud warnings over phone calls and couriers

Warnings have been issued over two different types of scam calls.

In the first, an 85-year-old Weston-super-Mare woman was defrauded out of money after being contacted by telephone this week by a person claiming to be from her bank. They told her that her card had been compromised and they needed the PIN number, which she gave.

The offenders arranged for a courier to attend the victim’s house and collect the card before using it in a local bank to withdraw money.

In the second scam, callers claim to be from the local council or companies called “Safe and Secure” or “Protect Your Home UK”.

Bath and North East Somerset Trading Standards have been made aware of three residents who have been contacted with callers telling them they are offering home security systems to people aged between 50 and 70.

One resident was offered an ID wrist band for £1, along with a quote for floor sensors which would alert the wristband if there was a flood or fire. The other resident was offered free security equipment, £1 for installation and ongoing maintenance costs to be agreed. Both residents say the caller was extremely convincing. The caller guaranteed that police, ambulance or fire would attend an incident. The telephone number provided to residents does not work.

This may be an attempt to get people’s bank details or to sign residents up to an expensive monthly subscription

If you have been affected by a similar telephone call, the advice from Trading Standards is to call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or report it online at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/consumer-service/

Spring on the Strawberry Line

25thFebruary 2019 was claimed to be the hottest February Day ever recorded. The sun shone all day and despite the early morning frost, it felt like Spring. The best place to enjoy Spring has got to be the ‘Strawberry Line’.

I was not the only person to take advantage of the glorious weather. Two young Mums were pushing their babies in pushchairs at the same time as answering their phones ! The normal rash of cyclists all trying to beat the speed record for the track and lots of Joggers. One ambitious walker asked how far it was to Wells. Perhaps he had a dose of ‘Spring Fever’.

Michael Greaves

One of the first trees to flower on the Strawberry Line before it gets any leaves is the ‘Sloe’ or ‘Blackthorn’. The delicate white flowers even attracted a wandering Bee.
The warm sunny weather has brought on the Hazel and they are all draped in trailing ‘Catkins’. This should mean we will get an abundant crop of Cobnuts in the Autumn.
I always enjoy seeing ‘Old Mans Beard’. Its one of the winter treats like clumps of cotton wool with the seeds about to fall out and start the process of sowing, growing, flowering and forming seeds all over again. The Strawberry Line is looking good for another 150 years. It will be celebrating its birthday of the first train on 3rdAugust 1869.

Peewits on the Strawberry Line

The recent snow and heavy rain has flooded many of the fields. The saturated ground must force worms and other grubs to the surface providing a good meal for the ‘Peewits’. We were lucky, as they chose the water logged fields along the Strawberry Line between Congresbury and Churchill. In times past they were a regular winter visitor and it was not unusual to see large flocks circling the low lying fields. But not for some time have I seen this number. An unexpected and most welcome treat.

Click to read full article by Michael Greaves

Wassail at the Millenium Orchard

On Saturday 12th January, 2019 at 3pm more than 50 adults, children and pets met at the Youth Club building by the Riverside Car Park to take part in the third village Wassail. The crocodile of folk who were singing and making lots of noise to ward off evil spirits, paraded across the Millenium Green, over the bridge to the orchard. They were led by the Green Man (Brian Kemplay) and the music of Dave Byett with his squeeze box. After a speech by the Green Man the three Congresbury Beauty apples were danced around 3 times in a clockwise direction by villagers making as much noise as possible. The trees were then blessed and two young helpers put toast on the trees & sprinkled cider at their base to encourage new growth and fruit.

Afterwards the revellers returned to the Youth Club to enjoy hot apple juice from the Orchard and a variety of apple cakes made by volunteers from Congresbury Youth Partnership.

Editorial & photographs by Peter Hughes & Bryony Goodesmith

Bowler Ant is national champion

Congresbury bowler Anthony Page is an England champion after winning an indoor tournament in Nottingham last weekend.

Ant won the Disability Bowls England National Singles for Non-classified members at Nottingham at his first attempt.

He won three tough rounds before winning overall in the fourth round 19-13.

“The last round was nip and tuck at first, then I managed to get ahead in the last few ends,” said Ant, aged 45, who lives in Worle.

Champion: Congresbury’s Ant Page

He was brought up in Wolverhampton and first started bowling at age 11 on crown greens.

“My father got me into it. My four uncles played too,” said Ant.

“It was my life. It was everything I did, six nights a week from April to September.

“I got to county standard and played for Staffordshire at junior level.”

He started bowling again in 2017 when he joined Congresbury, and in 2018 won three of the club’s singles titles and reached the final of the men’s championship.

Ant, who works in a supermarket bakery, was born with a condition called scoliosis – curvature of the spine – which is painful at times.

Congresbury Bowling Club’s 2019 season starts on April 13.

New members are welcome. Turn up every Monday at 6pm for coaching. Equipment provided.

The Strawberry Line – 5 years on

Michael Greaves shares his reflections on the last 5 years of the Strawberry line…..

In 2013 I wrote a monthly account of my walks along the ‘Strawberry Line’ from The Old Station to Thatcher’s Cider Factory. Thanks to my Daughter lending me one of bikes, I have taken to the saddle and enjoyed a few leisurely rides along the ‘Old Railway Line’ and thought some might be interested in what’s happened in the last 5 years.

                    

Looking back at my account of September 2013, we were remembering the last train that travelled from Wells to Yatton on 7th September 1963 – 50 years ago. I haven’t seen any accounts of the 55 years that have now elapsed, but a lot has happened in the last 5 years.   Firstly, the Strawberry Line is as beautiful as ever. We are so fortunate to have this open space on our door step. I haven’t been as far as Thatcher’s Orchards for a few years and not since we lost our beloved Black Labrador ‘Minton’. He was the main reason I walked along the Strawberry Line every morning and evening. But, its pure magic and the views are spectacular with wildlife in abundance.  Read more

Middlecombe Nursery Celebrates 30 years in Congresbury

Established since 1988, Middlecombe is very much a family business run by husband and wife, Nigel and Isy North. It’s home to a wonderful selection of shrubs, perennials, climbers, grasses, conifers and trees, many grown on site, alongside quality Dutch and Italian stock including large specimen plants for instant gardens and a wide selection of exotics, palms and bamboos.

Situated a short distance from the A370 between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, on the edge of the village of Congresbury, the site covers approximately three acres in a slightly hidden countryside setting.

The nursery has car parking and is within easy walking distance of a Bus Stop on the Bristol road. 

Wrington Road, Congresbury, BS49 5AN
 
Open to the general public. Check the website for seasonal opening times.